Arkansas Post National Memorial

Arkansas Post National Memorial

Arkansas Post has played a part in Arkansas history since well before statehood.  

Today, the Arkansas Post National Memorial and Arkansas Post Museum preserve the important history of this area. 

Located south of Gillett, Arkansas Post was established in 1686 by French  explorer Henri de Tonti. The site was the first semi-permanent French settlement in the lower Mississippi River Valley. The establishment of the Post was the first step in a long-standing struggle between France, Spain and England for control of the Mississippi River Valley. Although the original settlement was moved several times to areas less likely to flood, the Post continued to grow an, in 1819, became the first capital of the Arkansas Territory. 

Arkansas Post is also the location of the only Revolutionary War skirmish to take place in what is now Arkansas. Due to the settlement's proximity to the Arkansas River, Arkansas Post was a thriving river town by the early 1800s and was selected as the capital of the Arkansas Territory. War would again find its way to the Post. In January 1863, in an effort to stop Confederates disrupting Union shipping on the Mississippi River, the Union Army moved on Arkansas Post. After Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's troops overran the Confederate trenches, Arkansas Post was bombarded by Union ironclads. Outnumbered five to one, the Confederates surrendered on January 11. 

On July 6, 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the law creating Arkansas Post National Memorial, a unit of the National Park Service. The park preserves and interprets the remains of the original European and Native American settlements on the Arkansas River, as well as the Civil War battle that was fought at the post.

Arkansas Post National Memorial features an accessible visitor center, which offers an introductory movie. The Arkansas Post Museum contains exhibits detailing more than three hundred years of history at Arkansas Post. Outside, visitors will find over two miles of trails winding through the Post's historic town site, as well as the Civil War trenches remaining from the Battle of Arkansas Post in 1863. For detailed information, visit the park's website at www.NPS.gov/arpo.

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